From left to right: Dumi Magadla (Ground Crew) with our special 3-legged Tessa,
Shirley Surridge (Ground Crew) with our shy girl Betsy, Frank Valea (Kennel Crew)
with our new intake Daisy and Steven Valea (Kennel Crew) with Daisie's pup, Beau
Written by Mandy Millsap, member of Grabouw Animal Welfare Society and an outreach volunteer
In the blink of an eye, the world changed forever during this past year of 2020. The Covid-19 virus has impacted us all in so many ways.
Grabouw Animal Welfare Society is among the many animal shelters worldwide that have endured tough times this year, but we’ve almost reached the festive season and, looking back, we’re proud of what we’ve managed to do during 2020.
Grabouw Animal Welfare Society (GAWS) has been working tirelessly in the Grabouw\Elgin community (around an hour outside Cape Town) since 2012. Our community is varied and consists of townships, urban suburbs, farms and wide-open natural vegetation areas.
We therefore get involved with people of different cultures and an assortment of animals, which requires effort, dedicated volunteers, and the much-needed donations.
GAWS is a non-profit organisation that’s fully self-funded and receives no government or local municipality funding. We rely heavily on the support of our local community and social media.
An increase in suffering
Due to the dire economic situation in SA, people cannot afford to feed and medically treat their animals or, worse, they simply cannot afford to keep them at all. All this is in addition to the constant problem of an ever-growing population of animals due to the desperate need for more sterilisation programmes.
As a result, we’re seeing a massive increase in animal abuse, neglect, and suffering every day. It’s traumatic and emotionally straining on our volunteers, who soldier on and do their magic where they can.
Our goal is to make a difference – sterilisation, education, rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of unwanted, sick and suffering animals, feeding starving dogs in our townships and handing out food to those who truly love and care for their animals but don’t have the money for food and rehoming unwanted animals to loving families.
We have kennel facilities which house 30 to 40 dogs at a time, which are attended to by our fantastic kennel staff who clean and sanitise daily, feed twice a day (sometimes more if necessary for certain intakes), groom, keep up the general maintenance, and walk the dogs on leash, both morning and late afternoon, every day.
We constantly strive to reach our goals, and we have our good days and our bad ones.
Good days and bad
On good days:
- Our GAWS Charity shop, in our local shopping centre, makes a profit and we jump for joy!
- We manage a successful adoption or two after doing adoption days at our local Elgin Railway Market where we take our kennel dogs over weekends.
- We receive a substantial donation and are able to pay our vet account or book an additional mass sterilisation day in the township or in a local farm settlement, or perhaps even pay for an expensive treatment for a loving owner who can’t afford it themselves.
- We receive a dog food donation and are able to jump into our vehicles and feed starving dogs in our community.
- We enlist a couple of volunteers who want to help with the enormous task of cleaning our kennels, or walking our kennel dogs, helping on steri days and adoption days, and fundraising tasks or outreach work.
On bad days:
- Our fieldwork volunteers feel overwhelmed at what it takes to go out there and do what’s necessary for the animals who don’t have a voice and cannot speak for themselves! But our group of volunteers support each other and carry on with our motto: Rescue the Mistreated! Save the Injured! Love the Abandoned!
- When our coffers are empty and we can’t help our community as we’d like to do or feed our beloved starving township animals.
How you can help the Grabouw Animal Welfare Society
Donations make everything possible. We are a registered NPO 090-571 and PBO 930040429 and are therefore able to issue a Section 18A tax certificate for donations.
Account Name: GAWS
Branch Code: 200312
Account No: 62345 349 618